PhD Projects in Sustainable Chemistry

Fully funded PhD studentships available at the University of Nottingham EPSRC and SFI CDT in Sustainable Chemistry: HeatToPower investigates the synthesis and characterisation of thermoelectric materials to address sustainability challenges by converting waste heat into electricity. We are looking for organic, inorganic or physical chemists to take on the challenge of preparing new and exciting molecular thermoelectrics.

We will provide research training in synthetic or theoretical skills leading to a core PhD in chemistry but will also afford opportunities to work across disciplinary boundaries with physics and engineering co-investigators to optimise, characterise and exploit these materials’ thermoelectric performance as part of a multidisciplinary team. These posts would ideally suit those with a strong interest in sustainability and in the search for scientific and technical solutions to global energy issues.

More information available in this studentship ad (pdf) or in this video.

Apply here, or email miriam.oduill(at) for informal inquiries.

Deadline: 25. February 2022.

Andrew joins the lab

A big welcome to Andrew Greener, who joined the O’Duill group this month as its very first Nottingham PhD student!

After completing an MSc in the James group at the University of York where he worked on transition-metal-free cross-coupling reactions, Andrew will investigate the design, synthesis and reactivity of hypervalent iodine reagents.

Marie Sklodowska Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships 2021

The University of Nottingham School of Chemistry is inviting expressions of interest for the current Marie Skldowska Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships (MSCA PF) 2021 call under the Horizon Europe programme. If you have an interest in catalysis and methodology development for late-stage functionalisation and would like to develop a Fellowship application for a postdoctoral position in the O’Duill group, please get in touch!

Expressions of interest are required by July 20th 2021. Please click here for more information. Please contact miriam.oduill(at) before this date for an informal discussion.

A Guide to Directing Group Removal: 8‐Aminoquinoline in press

Do you use directing groups in catalysis and struggle to remove them at the end of a synthesis? Liam has utilised the time out of the lab during lockdown to bring you this review on how to remove 8-aminoquinoline, one of the most popular N,N-bidentate directing groups used in C–H activation and alkene functionalisation. We hope to provide a useful end-users’ guide for chemists in academia and industry who are considering using this powerful directing group—and want to be able to remove it from their final products.

For a link to the paper, click here:

We are hiring!

Fully-funded 42-month PhD studentship available for UK or European students in the field of catalysis. Application deadline: March 1st 2021. More information on and below:

Catalytic labelling methods for the deuteration and fluorination of drug targets

The incorporation of isotopes such as deuterium, tritium or fluorine-18 into molecules is instrumental in medicinal chemistry: Deuterium and tritium labelling is required for preclinical ADME studies and clinical trials,1 deuteration can improve the metabolic stability, pharmacokinetics and toxicity profile of drugs,2 and fluorine-18 is the isotope of choice for positron emission tomography (PET) – an in vivo imaging technique that is used both for diagnostics and in the drug development process.3 Developing new, selective functionalisation reactions that allow for the incorporation of these isotopes at a late stage in the synthesis is therefore of utmost importance and interest. 

The aim of this PhD project is to address this challenge and develop reactions for the late-stage deuteration, tritiation and fluorination of drug-like molecules using transition-metal catalysed and metal-free, organocatalytic methods. The specific focus of the project will be defined in collaboration with the successful applicant.

Based in the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham, this project will provide extensive training in organic synthesis and catalysis, reaction screening for methodology development and analytical techniques (NMR, MS, X-ray). 

Candidates will have a chemistry degree with a strong interest in catalysis and methodology development. The starting date for the project is flexible: Apr 2021 or, ideally, Oct 2021. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact Dr Miriam O’Duill (miriam.oduill(at) for more details or enquires about the project.

Formal applications should be made online through the University of Nottingham’s online application system: Please also send a cover letter and CV to miriam.oduill(at) detailing your previous research experience and current research interests. Applications are open until March 1st 2021.

Funding notes

Fully funded studentship to commence before Oct 2021. UK students – tuition fees paid and full stipend, tax-free, for 42 months at the RCUK rate (currently £15,285 per annum). EU students eligible and considered as UK students if available to start by Aug 2021, please get in touch for further details.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expected to achieve, a First Class or good 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in chemistry and an interest in catalysis. Substantial research experience will be advantageous.
If English is not the candidate’s first language, they must provide evidence before the beginning of the studentship that they meet the University minimum English Language requirements (IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element).


1. Atzrodt, J.; Derdau, V.; Kerr, W. J.; Reid, M. Deuterium‐ and Tritium‐Labelled Compounds: Applications in the Life Sciences, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 1758–1887.
2. Lowe, D. In The Pipeline, (accessed 6.12.2020)
3. S. Purser, P. R. Moore, S. Swallow, V. Gouverneur, Fluorine in medicinal chemistry, Chemical Society Reviews 2008, 2008, 320–330.

Sapientia urbs conditur

I am excited to be starting my new post as Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham today (albeit remotely).

I would like to thank all of my colleagues and students at NUI Galway – I thoroughly enjoyed working with all of you and have learned a lot in the last 2.5 years. I am looking forward to meeting my new colleagues in Nottingham soon and welcoming my first students into the lab there. Please get in touch with miriam.oduill(at) if you are interested in joining us.


NUIG Chemistry online seminar series

Research labs and universities around the world are adapting to a new way of working through this lockdown, finding ways to keep connected and productive. My colleague Joe Byrne here at the NUI Galway School of Chemistry has put together an online seminar series (Fridays at 12:00 Irish time) to encourage the exchange of ideas and networking in a time when we cannot meet in person. Many of these will be open to the public, and we invite everyone to join us via the link that will be made available here on the day.


Arann’s Graduation

Congratulations to Arann Drohan who graduated with an MSc from the O’Duill group! Arann laid the groundwork for exciting research into removable directing groups and has since started a stellar career at Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Arann graduation

Health and Wellbeing

Settling into day 22 of the Irish university closure, I would like to share some resources to perhaps make working from home slightly easier:

Please keep following WHO and HSE health advice: wash your hands, stay at home and avoid/minimise contact with others to slow the virus’ spread and give our health professionals a fighting chance.

If you are feeling stressed and anxious, here are some suggestions on how to take care of your mental health and establish good habits:

There has been a peak of domestic abuse incidents reported during this pandemic. If working from home is making you feel anxious and unsafe, please find out where you can get help:

The opinions expressed on this website are my own (MOD). For official, up-to-date information concerning the NUI Galway campus, live Q&A sessions and student & staff FAQs, please see:





In light of the Coronavirus pandemic we would like to remind everyone to practise good hand hygiene and infection control (avoid crowded places and protect those at risk), follow official public health advice and avoid the spread of fake news and panic.

Social distancing measures slow the spread of infections, ensuring that the healthcare system does not get overwhelmed and thus protecting the vulnerable:


(gif source: )

All opinions expressed on this website are my own (MOD) – for official, up-to-date information relating to the NUI Galway campus, please visit